S: In Memory of Ericka Norman Chambers
BC: a righteous woman will be remembered forever
FC: With love
2: This memory book is from the family at the Fellowship of the Lord's People in Kosovo and the International Choral Group, both of which Ericka was a part of. The scripture says that the memory of the just is blessed and that a righteous woman will be remembered forever (Proverbs 10:7, Psalm 112:6). It is our desire that this book will be a written treasure of a glimpse into the special woman of God that we all knew. | From Kosova
4: Always you remain special friend to me till I see you again in heaven!... She was on phone talking with someone when I seen here for the first time in the yard of our church Fellowship of the Lord’s People in Prishtina, Kosova. I said “hi” and had no respond from her side. I felt not very good but let it go. She started to come every Sunday and I had already my opinion for her like she was very proud women. She joined the International Chorale group so I started to see her more often and somehow we started to talk about different things of church, family and other things. She was seating behind me on along with other members of International Chorale Group at the church and while worship team were praising God I could hear her singing and praising God with all of heart. I asked her once which was a song that she likes the most and she replied: “song that I like the most is “Jesus, be the centre (Jezus behu qender)” and that to sing in Albanian”. I was amazed when she started to sing all the way through. Today I sing this song for my dear friend Ericka and it goes: Jezus behu qender Behu burimi, Behu drita, Jezus Jezus behu qender Behu shpresa, Behu kenga, Jezus Behu zjarr ne zemren time Behu ere ne keto lundrime Behy arsyeja qe une jetoj, Jezus, Jezus Jezus behu vizioni Behu shtegu, Behu prijesi, Jezus | Most of the time she was the first to come for Choir rehearsals making things ready for everyone and this was our time when we talked and laughed together. While I have observing her as a sister and friend I was very encouraged to see her daily growing in God. She told me Alvin and that she invited him to church. Like everyone me too was eager to see who is this man that captured her heart?? That Sunday Alvin came to church and those days our comments about Alvin and Ericka were like “He is not really for Ericka, or He doesn’t deserve her”!! (Sorry Alvin but this is the truth). But I was glad that as years has gone by; their love for each other daily was growing. Big surprise and joyful moments to see her and Alvin come for Artur’s and Brikena’s wedding. Since I was in charge for ushering I reserved the seat for them, even though everyone was curious to know for whom I was reserving the seat. She stayed some days more after wedding and we had an opportunity (that was the last time I saw her) to go for lunch together. She said that will come back to Kosova for my marriage... She left Kosova and somehow we “lost” a member but in other hand we send Ericka as an ambassador for Christ to other countries. Her cheering, her voice, her care for others and things, her intercession between her department and Evangelicals, her joy and everything, her etc. it did left footprints in my heart and in my country. | saw a strange number appearing on my phone call on September 11, 2009, but since was my birthday I answered each call. “Happy birthday my dear” said the voice. I admit that even though voice was familiar to me I could not recognize with first words. We laughed so much on phone that day. She asked me “when you are getting married?”, and I said yo her that “prince hasn’t arrived yet”. She made my day. I did not care indeed for any other present I got because my best present was her call on my birthday. I shared the joy of her calling me with others. Shocked news when I heard about earthquake in Haiti and my first thought went to Ericka. Sis. Rose M King called me that morning assuring that I heard about the news on Haiti and bringing the need for intercession. I had a hope that she will survive. I had a hope that she will come out safe. I was eager for any news each moment to receive from Alvin or other who knew her. Photo which she send it to us maybe month before her death we printed in bigger format and hang in the Church and asked everyone to pray. God had a different plan. He had a different call. He chose the best way for her even though we could not understand... Praise be to Him. I thank God for allowing me to meet Ericka and to serve Him together with her. I thank God that He blessed me through Ericka and encouraged me. For sure I will miss her and I will remember her each time will be my birthday because maybe I will be waiting for her call... | Jezus behu qender
5: Denise, you have to come in Kosova and meet us and who knows maybe God will use you too like He did with your mum. Alvin, you met your wife here and even that Ericka is not in our midst you still have a spiritual family here that we do love you, care and pray for you and Dennise. I pray for strength of God which goes beyond our understanding, each day and each moment of your life as your lives goes on. My dear friend Ericka, in my world word goodbye do not exist, so I say to you with tear on my eyes see you soon, see you in heaven the best place ever to be. I will miss you till I’ll see you again, but joy and good memories you left on me will give me strength to stand till that meeting. Thank you for everything. Enjoy seating with Jesus and praising Him face to face. Always your friend, sister (commandant) from Prishtina, Kosova Leonora Kurti Leo
6: Tribute to my friend and counselor, Ericka Your ‘sista’ and friend from Ghana Georgina Hackman MONUC – Kinshasa, DRC 29 January 2010
7: “I’ve met this lady. I’m sure you know her from Church. She’s a muzungu and she’s beautiful but she’s black, black American and a lawyer. That combination is just too much for me to handle.” “But how can she be a muzungu and a black American”. “Yeah, you know one of those fair colored ones.” That was the conversation by which my attention was drawn to Ericka’s existence and the beginning of a deep loving relationship between Alvin and Ericka that confounded their critics. Alvin and I worked closely together in the same Section, the Penal Management Division of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. It later became the Kosovo Correctional Service. I was the Personal Assistant to the Head of the Section and Alvin was the architect designing the buildings for the reconstruction of the Prisons at the end of the conflict that resulted in the breakup of the Yugoslav Federation. I lent a listening ear and eventually became a sort of a Catholic Priest receiving confessions and the latest exploits and or disappointments. So it was no surprise when another lady appeared in his already crowded social life. This one apparently posed some challenge. To most observers the relationship was going nowhere. Indeed there were those who actively sought to poison it but I heard so much detail as the friendship progressed and I knew where it was heading. Ericka and I were members of the same Church, the Fellowship of the Lord’s People, in Pristina, the capital | of Kosovo. Our friendship began after I joined the International Choral Group (ICG). She was already a member. I joined ICG because I loved to sing but I became a member of a closely knit family in Christ and I gained increased faith; improved prayer life; and a willingness to study the bible. I became more compassionate; and I found Ericka. I don’t know how that happened but she became a very good friend. Our shared common interests, Alvin, ICG and other Church related programs, soon evolved into a more personal relationship. She was my counselor, the one I call for advice and sure enough she’d have some very sound advice to give. We shared confidences and Alvin was just one of the topics for discussion. “I wonder why he’s taking so long to pop the question”. “Patience”, I’d say. I knew he’d already bought the rings from Liberia. “Nothing less than pure Liberian gold ring made by the finest artisan in Liberia is fit for my bride” he’d stated when he showed me the rings. The question was eventually popped and the rest is history. Ericka was a “busy body” who got results for whatever task she had on her plate. She was well-organized; articulate and punctual. She had little tolerance for the “African time”. She was a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is person; meticulous, leaving nothing to chance. I recall a time during the conflict and border closures were a regular occurrence. She declared once, while showing me the contents of her waist belt: “Should we be | evacuated, I have my man, and I carry with me 24/7 the wedding rings, my passport and all necessary documents ready for marriage anywhere”. She was funny too and generous, always found time to visit friends, offer advice and bring comfort where needed. She was a mother to everyone long before she became one; and boy did she love children! No surprise at all then that she went to great lengths to unite Denise with AJ and Malaika. She loved Alvin dearly and did not fret over any adverse comment about him. She’d politely tell off the bearer of that comment and find a “romantic time” to get the truth out of him. Dear Ericka, I shall miss you dearly! I thank God for His glory revealed to us through you. You were an angel on earth and now you are one of the heavenly angels. Do look out for the people of Haiti and your friends across the globe. A special look out for your parents, brothers and sisters and, need I even mention it, the Liberian hunk into whose hands you have left all that family ‘business’. So dearest Ericka “Rest in Peace" and may the Almighty God keep you safe in his bosom till we meet again. What singing there will be up there! Georgina
8: It is very difficult for me to be giving this tribute to my friend and sister Ericka. There is a Sierra Leonean adage that readily comes to mind at this time which when translated means, “something good is never long lasting”. I never fully understood this adage until now, as Ericka’s life and death has given me the revelation behind it. I have come to understand that in the short period of time that God had favored us with Ericka’s presence, she quickly did the work God sent her to do. She has run the race, fought the fight while she had breath and now she has taken her rest. ERICKA or EDN as I fondly called her always had a smiling countenance. From the very first day I met her in January 2001 when she joined the Housing and Property Directorate (HPD) in Kosovo, I knew instantly that we would be friends for life. We shared the same Office, the same faith and joined the Church Choir. Yes, Ericka was a proud member of the International Choral Group in Kosovo. She always claimed that she could not sing very well, so she made up for any short-comings in that department with her enthusiasm to serve. She would arrange our music pieces into individual folders, type and print out songs, prepare slides for the overhead projector and do anything else that needed to be done to ensure that everything went on smoothly for church services or choral performances. She had an extra dose of patience when we messed up the arrangement of the individual folders. Those who knew Ericka well will testify that she would never miss an opportunity to render service to a person in need. She had a very strong faith in God and this governed her everyday dealings with all those she came into contact with. She was loving, friendly and selfless, yet firm when necessary. Her integrity, enthusiasm, devotion and sincerity of faith made her stand out among her peers. It was these same qualities that endeared her to the hearts of so many in Kosovo as well as in Haiti. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 sums up the affairs of man. It states, “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born and a time to die.” Ericka has fulfilled her destiny and has now been called to higher service above. EDN we will always remember you. As a fellow peacekeeper, you have now made the ultimate sacrifice for peace and I salute you my sister and friend. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU. ERICKA may your soul rest in perfect peace and may light perpetually shine upon you. Emmanuel Bunton Cole UNAMID Darfur, Sudan
9: Going Away Party When Ericka left Kosovo
10: My name is Jeannette Sanchez and I'm originally from Brooklyn, New York. I met Ericka while on a tour of duty in Kosovo in the fall of 2002. What I remember most about Ericka was her award-winning smile and deep love for God. Her passion for God and His son Jesus Christ was shared nearly every Sunday morning when Ericka together with other members of the Kosovo church choir sang their songs of praise and worship. I will always remember her beautiful, smiling face. Ericka, thank you for sharing your passion for God and Jesus Christ with me and others. Jeannette Sanchez
11: I have been trying to compose the farewell message for Ericka, but I have somehow continued to be in a state of disbelief and every moment I started putting it together, my hands got heavy. Ericka, you are greatly remembered and a lot of good words have been said about you. You left a lasting impression in everyone who came into contact with you and all of them have numerous ways of describing you and the different ways on how you imparted their lives. You always put a first-gear in everything that you did, the International Chorale Group can attest your commitment to God's service and you did everything with a smile, which was difficult to hide. The few of us who are still in Kosovo say a big thank you!! You continued your service in Haiti, in an effort of improving the lives of the Haitian people and they also have memories of your good work. Ericka, you were always lovable and our desire was that you continue being in our midst, but God had a different plan for your life. The place He had prepared for your in heaven was ready, so He took you home. Ericka, I quote 2 Timothy 4:7 for you: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith". God be with you till we meet again. Alice Mwangi Office of Chief of Staff
12: Ericka just how am I going to mourn you? How am I going to live past this grief? I cannot come to terms with the fact that I will see you no more or hear your sweet voice again. I cannot come to terms with the news of your departure from this world. Your new world Ericka is not a place I can visit and return as I wish. And I don’t even know when my ticket was booked for me to come and stay. My heart is heavy with grief and yet comforted by the joy of your memories. I remember the first day I met you. I remember that day like it was only yesterday. You somehow looked lost and yet confident in yourself. Although you had Emmanuel as your guide you still looked around and found people to talk to in those new surroundings. We met at Bashkesia e Populit te Zotit (Fellowship of the Lords People) in Kosovo. We immediately bonded and the next thing I know is that we became very good friends. The next time we met you gave me a gift – some hair lotion and conditioner. Just what I needed Who do you know that does that just after meeting someone? You hardly knew me. But that is just the kind of person you were. Full of love, kindness, peace and joy. Ericka Denise Chambers Norman – what an extraordinary woman you were. You were a woman to be reckoned with and really one in her own league. Matchless in many ways and indeed a woman after Gods own heart. You were powerful, fearless and yet kind, gentle and patient. You were a peace loving person and one that did not know how to find fault with others. Yes, you were a sweetheart; A truly sweet person. And I say that with a smile on my face. To me Ericka, you were not just a friend but a sister. And good big sister at that and you really took good care of me. I remember how you would always come to my aid and rescue me every time I needed your support and help. Most especially I remember how you took care of me and my family when my Nicole was born. You made sure that you cooked meals for us every week and brought them to us in Skopje, Macedonia all the way from Pristina, Kosovo. | Ericka just how am I going to mourn you? How am I going to live past this grief? I cannot come to terms with the fact that I will see you no more or hear your sweet voice again. I cannot come to terms with the news of your departure from this world. Your new world Ericka is not a place I can visit and return as I wish. And I don’t even know when my ticket was booked for me to come and stay. My heart is heavy with grief and yet comforted by the joy of your memories. I remember the first day I met you. I remember that day like it was only yesterday. You somehow looked lost and yet confident in yourself. Although you had Emmanuel as your guide you still looked around and found people to talk to in those new surroundings. We met at Bashkesia e Populit te Zotit (Fellowship of the Lords People) in Kosovo.
13: You made sure that I didn’t have to do any cooking at the time and ended up spoiling me a little, I must say. What amazed me is that you did all that with love and didn’t seem to be bothered at all even though you had to drive in bad weather at times and..oh my.you were just learning to drive a stick-shift car. We worried about you but you would not hear of it. You just had to bring those mealsI will never forget the meatloaf.DELICIOUS.And you ferried our family back to Pristina after my maternity leave.luggage and all. It didn’t end there. After that you became our driver to and from church almost every Sunday before we had our own car. Even in the heavy snow and icy roads you still pushed through and got us home safely then drove yourself home. I always laugh at how when you first saw Nicole, a few days after she was born you were so terrified to carry her because you didn’t know how to hold a baby. And when Lanla showed you how and handed you the baby you just seemed so uncomfortable and scared. You froze for a while. You didn’t even sit down; You just stood. What a funny sight that was. We always laugh about that. I even laughed about it with Winnie just this December when my nephew was born. But I will never forget the look of love on your face when you looked at Nicole. And I remember getting terrified when I heard you were pregnant. Nick and I wondered how you were going to carry your own baby after what we had seen. But we were comforted in knowing that Alvin would be with you. What a relief! | As your God-daughter, you loved and cared for Nicole with all your heart and didn’t miss a birthday. You were always concerned about how we were doing and religiously remembered to ask about Nick in Afghanistan. I also remember how you were concerned and helpful when my relationship with my step-daughter Moono started showing signs of failure. You talked to me as a sister would and gave me good advice. And you never forgot to get gifts for Wezi too. That is why I was not surprised when I saw how well you handled your relationship with AJ and Malaika. And how could I not envy that kind of strength, love and determination. What an amazing woman you were! You not only served me, but gave yourself whole-heartedly to the work of God any where you found yourself. And you served God well in the International Choral Group. You had us carrying our music sheets in some nice green or red folders and carefully labeled each and everyone one of them for us. You were usually the last to leave after choir practice because you had to make sure that our folders were in order and the musicians had their music books ready for Sunday service. And yes you made the Alto line shine even though you really couldn’t sing gal.you were always off key.remember our jokes about thatand the many giggles and shoves at each other in the middle of ministration in church? Ha..that was fun. I remember how your face would beam every time we sang one of your favorite songsI Was Made to Be In Your Presence.(I sang and played this song over and over when I heard that you had left us) | Again, you were a very valuable and reliable member of the Ladies Fellowship group where you (again) ferried us to and from our meeting places. Even with your busy schedule you didn’t miss a meeting. Remarkable! Do you remember our trips to the KFOR Hill before they stopped us getting into that camp of theirs? How we always bought those huge Burger king meals and the huge shopping after that? Girl.we had fun! But one thing I will never ever forget is the treat you gave me one day. You said that I deserved to go out and get pampered after all the hard work at home and the office. You took me to a beauty spa and made sure that I had a massage, pedi and manicure and all the works. You then took me for a good meal and we had some ice cream (although it was cold) and brought me home refreshed and ready to take on my motherly duties again. Gal, you were just an angel. Ericka, I could go on and on talking about what a blessing you were because I truly cannot recall a day when you were not a good friend and sister. Thank you for showing me what true friendship and love in God is all about. Thank you so much darling for loving me and my family. Thank you for teaching me what giving is all about. And thank you also for sharing Denise with us. Alvin is a lucky man. He got to live with a real Angel. Thank you for just being you.
14: Thank you for being a true representative of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being a true ambassador of Jesus Christ – Her Excellency Ericka Norman. I salute you woman of God. And yes child of God, your star shines even brighter. I am further comforted in knowing that you have gone to a much better place than the world you have left behind. And the One who is taking care of you loves you more than we all do. THAT FACT Ericka, is the only thing that puts a smile on my face. Finally you are in His presence, where you were made to be – In the Tabernacle of His Name. I will miss you Ericka. I love you and always will. Please say hello to my mom, dad and brother. They went ahead of you. Irene Zulu-Chabala UNDOF. Syria | "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-27)
15: Jesus | Jezusit | Our Redeemer Lives
16: Fumi Onodera Home Country Japan I knew Ericka through the Fellowship of the Lord's people. | The thing I remember most about Ericka is When she moved to a new house near the hospital, she invited so many of us from the Church to her new home, We had BQ in the garden, many of our friends' children were outside playing, also she bought beautiful daisies to decorate the house. It was very lovely fun memory. A funny moment that we shared was that some how Erika knew some Japanese and we spoke in Japanese and it sounded quite funny. It always made us laugh. She had a gift of hospitality and encouragement. She always made me feel comfortable. Fumi
17: Dear brothers and sisters, Erika's death has shocked me very much. Since I've heard for her death a lot of good memories came through my mind of a wonderful time that I had with her personally in International Chorale Group. I have experienced in particular really hard when I herd for her daughter who is 3 years old. I can imagine how hard can be for her living without her dear MUM. However, for us Christians there is a comfort because we know that will meet her again and we will rejoice in God's kingdom forever and ever. My dear friend Erika, I know that I will meet you again and we will continue to worship our Lord God together as we use to Worship Him in International Chorale Group in Pristina. I will never forget you! I wish my condolences to Erika's family, and they are in my prayers and all IBTI students. Love you and miss u all very much! Eliza Deda The pain of losing a loved one cannot be expressed in words. We send our heartfelt condolences to you, baby Denise and the family. We will continue to remember you and your family in prayers. Ericka will be missed. May she rest in peace, and may you find comfort in God's love. Sarah and Ken Zikusoka Dako
18: A tribute to Ericka Norman, A blessing to the International Chorale Group! She lives on!! The International Chorale Group - Ericka, our dear Ericka... A woman of love, peace and order. Since my return to the office, and hearing of the earthquake, and all the news, I prayed and believed God for a Miracle for Ericka and others. I have been waiting to hear the good news from Alvin, whom I have been in contact with, that Ericka made it safe to the family. I am sure you have been praying for this too, but God! But God who is all knowing, and all present knew best by calling our dear sister home to be with him. It is a difficult one, considering our love for her we wanted to keep her, but God wanted her the most. We wanted to see little Denise grow up with Dad and Mom but God wanted her more and called her home. To us, it was early, but to him it was the best time. To us, the circumstance were adverse, but his ways are not ours neither his thoughts our thoughts. Our times and seasons are in his hands, and he chooses what to do with us without anyone's approval. Ericka lived a life of love and peace as evident by her relationship with all. She reached out to everyone; even the children identified with her and could relate to her. And this is why it saddens me that little Denise could not enjoy that friendship that other children had with her beloved mother. | But God who is caring and loving will also reach out to little Denise as her mother did with other children During the days of the International Chorale Group in Kosova, I remember how Ericka would go all out to ensure that every little detail were taken care off, i.e. programs, refreshment, transport etc. She added flavor and brought great ideas to the ICG prior to her departure to join the UN mission in Haiti in 2004. We missed her so much but cherished the love and organizational skills she left us. Even while in Haiti, Ericka continued to be an ICG member to the point where she provided a detailed report of the ICG CD which was played at a memorial service in Haiti. During this time of grief, I want to encourage you to be still and know that the Lord is God and will not fail all those who call upon him and put their trust him. Ericka is gone home to be with the Lord; I have not doubt, but let us uphold Alvin and little Denise at this time in prayer. It is a shock that only the grace of God will see them through. To Alvin, I say take heart; the father of Comfort will walk you through this process and path. We all have questions but God knows why. You have lost a friend, sister and wife, but by your side, at this very moment stands the Prince of Peace, and father of all comfort, who will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you and will comfort and strengthen you during this time. It will take a while to get over this, but God will give you the strength to face each day. Losing a loved one is not easy; it is only God who heals the wound. The best way, I got over my own grief was to stop asking God why, but to accept it and ask him for the strength each day. Be strong darling, you are not alone God is with you.
19: To Little Denise, named after your beloved mother, a woman of joy and peace and always reaching out, you will grow up to be a great woman of peace. The Prince of Peace and the Comforter will guide and lead your father in your upbringing. You will be a joy to your generation and an eternal excellence. Many will rise and call you blessing! Shalom to you daughter of Zion! To Alvin and Denise and the family, receive the word from Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail”. My darlings, members of the ICG, may we prepare ourselves to meet our Lord as no man knows the day or the hour. Keep the fire of God's love burning in your hearts like David who desired one thing that is to dwell in the presence of the Lord all the days of his life. Remain blessed and faithful! Shalom! Rose Martin-King Liberia | “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail”.
20: Working in peacekeeping, one does not need to wait 200 years to come face-to-face with an Act of God. Living legends roam the hallways of “MHQs” everywhere, and most importantly, out and about in the mission area. Rebuild a country, be a loving and supportive mother and wife, do God’s work? No problem! All at once! And with a voice raise in happy song while doing so... This - and more - was second nature to Ericka Norman. During our time with her in the choir in Kosovo (UNMIK), she gave us the words to sing (with colored separators!), she gave us vision (wink to Alvin) and she even helped us to swing when our rhythm was off. Her countless acts of generosity and echoes of her easy laughter fill every memory of her to overflowing, and we will miss her always. Steven, Barbara, May Li & Xian Uy
21: Ericka was always laughing, always had a way of turning over the coin to make you see the 'better side on the other side'. In fact, in all my travels and work in different countries, I have always mentioned Ericka's name as, amongst other things, her being a strong advocate in making your current residential place in your present duty station just as if it were your only home!! To surround yourself with as many of the things and memories you hold dear - and just making your living environment as comfortable as possible!! I remained inspired by her selflessness, generous spirit, laughter and very kind nature. With her bubbly nature, she raised the mantle and brought out the good and the best in so many people. And all this while, I doubt if she even realized that sometimes, especially since her interactions with some people were only just fleeting. Ericka did not only talk the talk, the walked the walk and was obedient to the commandment: You must love one another as I have loved you!! Like I said before to Alvin: I just can't help reminiscing about the time Ericka visited my office when she returned to Kosovo after Alvin surprised her with an engagement ring at the airport - I teased her and said - let's see your ‘bling bling’ [referring to the diamond studs in her engagement ring]. She curved her fingers to show off her engagement ring, so proudly. I also teased her and said: gal, you've put on some weight during this your holiday - I know what happened, I said!! You ate your heart out - you are now engaged, happy and have plenty to look forward to for the future!! We laughed, hugged and just enjoyed each other's company. Furthermore, Ericka inspired me with her beautiful singing voice and voted with both hands for me to join the choral group. And once I got in, she always found time to coach me even further – she used to say that she was teasing out the beautiful vocals I was hiding insides of me – how selflessly inspirational – who would not want to shout to the Heavens with such encouragement!! The beautiful memories of her short life here on earth will remain etched in our hearts and minds. May the soul of our dear departed sister and friend Ericka, rest in perfect peace. My thoughts and prayers will always be with you all, baby Denise and the rest of the family. with all my love and prayers, Priscilla Shalom Priscilla Ciesay Snr Human Rights Officer UNAMA/South East Region Gardez, Afghanistan | Priscilla Ciesay Home Country: Gambia/UK I knew Ericka starting in 2003 in Pristina/Kosovo (as colleagues in UNMIK & as part of the Fellowship of the Lord's People Church family)
23: Praise report - Answered Promise 12/11/09 Isaiah 43:1-13 Would you believe it, five and half years ago these words were spoken at our wedding? Though there have been some challenges on the way...last month in Kenya, the promise was fulfilled. Here is the picture of my wonderful family that I have been blessed with. This visit was the first time that all the children got to meet each other, the kids got along fabulously and can you imagine I even had Alvin making hand painted family T-shirts..... The visit was too short, and ended in fierce hugs and a little bit of tears.... I ended the trip, exhausted and happy as only a mama can be....Our God deserves the glory and honor and sooooo much praise for this one. I even can count myself lucky in considering AJ's (Alvin Jr.) and Malaika's mom's as friends and sisters. I am soo blessed that I am beaming with the Lords goodness in my life. Please accept this message as a wish and prayer that you and your families have a blessed and wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Normans. Ericka Ericka Norman, Chief Board of Inquiry Unit MINUSTAH, Port-au-Prince, Log Base
24: Dear Ericka, we will never forget you. We will miss your warm, wonderful and bubbly character. You are much loved by all of us and by God. To Ericka and Alvin's family, we pray for comfort and strength from God. Blessings and love, Gwen Cheong | Dear Alvin, Our prayers are with you, Denise and the rest of the family at this time. May the God of all comfort comfort you all in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen. We ask the Lord to minister that peace that is beyond understanding in Jesus Precious Name, Amen. Alvin, no doubt, in this short time that she was here, Ericka touched many lives and will be greatly missed. But this one thing we are sure of, that she is safe in the hands of her Lord and Our Saviour Jesus Christ. We are privileged to have known her and are thankful that she loved the Lord. Be encouraged because, the Bible say, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints" Ps. 116:15. One day we will see her (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)! May the Lord bless you and keep you. You are in our prayers, Chester and 'Bella
25: As I rummage to find an accurate word to describe our departed dear sister -Ericka, I found that I am still dazed and unable to put my thoughts to words legible enough for understanding. And my wife who has been screaming since she heard that Ericka was among the casualties has not helped me either. She remembers her encounters with her while in Kosovo, her charm, charisma and mesmerizing smiles especially when you ask her how she was feeling and she would answer, I feel groovy today." I will never forget those good times we had together in the choir, her patience and smiles with me when I forget my songs folder. Oh how we shall miss her in this part of life. But I know one day we shall meet her again and part no more. Where we are going is farther than where we have come from. We do not know when we shall arrive there. But one thing is certain, we shall be with the Lord and rest from all the world's toiling some day. In her zeal and desire to make Haiti a good place where peace, joy and progress abound, she has to give her life. It is pain to all of us who know her, but thank God she has helped mankind, she has left a foot print in the sand of time. Brethren, our sister has accomplished her mission. Just as a song-writer said, "The world is a market place where everyone comes to sell his/her wares. When you have finished selling yours, you have to go home." The painful aspect of it is that most times we do not know when the time is up to go. She has finished her race, she has helped and touched lives and she is gone. We still have our part to play. Let us pray for grace to finish ours also successfully. Our eternal home is in heaven where our Lord Jesus Christ is. There we shall meet and sorrow no more, no death, no pain and no hunger because our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer has prepared a home for each and everyone of us to enjoy. Our sister Ericka, we salute your courage and contributions to this world. May you rest in perfect peace with the Lord! Adieu! Silas and Elizabeth Itiveh
26: Let me begin with the good moments I had with your loving wife Ericka. I first met her at the airport in Kosovo. We had boarded the plane and after 2hrs of waiting for clearance to take off, we were disembarked from the aircraft because of heavy snowfall. We ended up in a hotel after mid-night in Kosovo, where we shared same room and in that tiny room we prayed together, I then invited her to join the Chorale Group and since then, we have been close friends. She not only became my friend, but a friend to my family. Alvin, you are aware that the few times Ericka was in Nairobi, we went to Church together. In these occasions, she would spend the time of worship in tears, an indication that God was ministering deep things into her spirit. She would confess later, “I have enjoyed the worship, it was so deep, I couldn’t hold myself back, I had to let God have His way in me” All these touched my heart and I knew that Ericka had a deep unique calling in her life. Ericka was organized, she loved good things, reaching out yet humble and tolerant, going out of the way to help the needy. Ericka had a great zeal to impact joy in others, demonstrating the nature of God – LOVE. This was manifested so much when her dream came true – when the entire family was joined together last year in Nairobi. | We spoke with Ericka on Thursday 14th Jan 10 and her joy was that God answered her prayers beyond her imagination, in fact I could feel her weeping with joy, and her joy was complete, when she saw the entire family come together and bonded so much with LOVE. It is my prayer Alvin that God will give you the grace needed to carry on the banner of LOVE that will enable you accomplish the task that is before you. May the Lord cause you to see the goodness of God through the dark tunnel that you may behold the glorious riches He has kept for you as His own. You and Ericka have different callings, but as you walk in your calling, God will enable you to accomplish His purpose on earth. Ericka run a good race and she reached her goal, she gone to receive her heavenly reward. She is in a better place than you and me right now. Let us focus on Jesus and work out our salvation with fear and trembling every day to finish well the race that is before us. You are in our prayers as a family Alvin, Denise, AJ and Malaika. The Akulas’ Family.
27: Dear Ericka, Just a note from us to say that we miss you. It does not seem that long ago that we were in Kosovo together, a bunch of us all serving as tent makers. After working each week in different parts of UNMIK, it was always good (even when we were exhausted) to meet up at the church in the evenings and on weekends to offer our service to God's Kingdom. There were so many of us from so many different parts of the world, but God put us together there and made a family out of us. Of course, it was nice for us to have a fellow American in the group there together with us. We missed the same foods and fun things from our American homes. Somehow though, God made Kosovo home for us during that time, despite the difficulties of long hours, power outages, the water going out, dust everywhere and mud all over our clothes. It still felt like home. Thank you for your gift of administration in our choir. There is so much that needs to be done behind the scenes of any organization that no one ever sees; that is of course unless no one does it! You took care of that for us in many, many ways. Thank you for your love for us and for the Kingdom demonstrated in these ways. And, I'll always remember "Falamenderit" being your jam - I think of you when I play that song still. This is not a note of goodbye of course, but simply one to say that we miss you until we meet again. It is an indescribable comfort and joy being in God's family together, which is an eternal family. It was wonderful serving with you in Kosovo Ericka, and we look forward to serving together again! With love and friendship, Henry, Suzanne & Madeleine McGowen
28: KOSOVO in brief: -1998, Serbian military, police, and paramilitary forces conducted a counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians. Approximately 800,000 Albanians were forced from their homes in Kosovo during this time. -March 1999 three-month NATO military campaign against Serbia that forced Serbia to agree to withdraw its military and police forces from Kosovo. -UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pending a determination of Kosovo's future status. -On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo independent. | Ericka always had a ready smile on her face, even when she was out of juice. I always appreciated that about her. She also had a spirit of excellence in whatever she set her hand too. When we found out that Ericka was no longer with us, Henry and I sat and wept together. As the night went on, I could almost picture Ericka with her wonderful smile saying “I am in a better place.” So don’t ask, “what if, why, how” because it doesn’t matter. Then I felt in my heart that she would want Alvin, Denise, Alvin Jr. and Malaika as well as the entire family that they are all part of a much larger family in Christ. We mourn together with you the loss but we also celebrate her life. It is my prayer that this book will just be a part of that celebration. I hope that as the children grow up they will be able to see their mother through God’s eyes and know that she was a virtuous woman who loved the Lord. On a lighter side: Ericka joined us for Thanksgiving dinner in Kosovo one year. I asked her beforehand what made Thanksgiving special for her. She said the “turkey neck.” Well, as a new cook, I had never cooked the neck before but I determined to for Ericka. So I threw it in with the Turkey and let it bake all day. After we had started our dinner and I had so proudly given Ericka the neck, she sat there quiet for a bit. Then she leaned over and said, “Suzanne, I can not eat this.” Really, what is wrong with it I asked. She banged it against her plate and it sounded like a brick. We laughed so hard! I think of that every year when we cook the turkey. In the middle of my grief, I remembered that story and all I could do was giggle. I think Ericka would want us all to remember the good times and the funny times. She lived her life and walked out her destiny. May we all do the same. God bless, Suzanne McGowen
29: Because He Lives | God sent his son, they called him Jesus, he came to love, heal, and forgive, he lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives. How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride, and joy he gives; but greater still the calm assurance, This child can face uncertain days because he lives. Sepse Ai jeton, kam fuqi pr nesr Sepse Ai jeton, s’kam frik m Sepse e di, e di, q Ai mban t ardhmen Dhe jeta ime tash ka vler Sepse Ai jeton